Jughead kicked Cheryl and Toni out of the Southside Serpents, Archie got attacked by a bear, and Veronica refused a new deal from Hiram on Riverdale Season 3 Episode 9.
Below, TV Fanatics Brandon Vieira, Kat Pettibone, and Becca Newton debate Riverdale's post-quarantine reality, Veronica's kiss with Reggie, and Archie's chances at survival.
The story of Riverdale Season 3 Episode 9 picked up weeks after the town's quarantine was lifted. Did you like the fast-forward or were you disappointed in the discovery?
Brandon: I was a little disappointed mainly for Jughead and FP. I thought the quarantine would've been the perfect time to see Jughead and FP reconnect with Gladys and Jellybean. We only got a taste of that family dynamic and I was hoping we'd get the chance to explore more.
I also would've liked to see how the rest of the town handled the quarantine situation.
Did Reggie and Veronica grow closer? How did Betty convince her mom to let The Farm kids live with them? There were a lot of unanswered questions and the quarantine had a lot of untapped potential.
Kat: At first I was a little disappointed, only because I felt like Jughead and FP not being able to get back into Riverdale was going to be an interesting arc. I love their scenes together and it was built up to be a major issue.
However, I think at the end of the day, it would have been more filler than anything else, and the time jump worked fine. With it, we were able to jump right into the juicy storylines. The only issue I do have is that the seizures were never explained.
What was causing them? Why did they mysteriously stop occurring?
Becca: I was disappointed. It's less about wanting to know what happened during those weeks and more about how disappointing it was to see that Riverdale (again) wrote itself into a corner it couldn't find its way out of. It chose to ignore dealing with the consequences in favor of going back to the status quo.
Which grouping do you think will cause the most drama in the future: the Serpents working as staff for Veronica or the asylum kids joining The Farm?
Brandon: While Veronica and the Serpents will be more in our face, I think in the long-run, the asylum kids joining The Farm will cause the most drama. It will bring the town of Riverdale the most danger moving forward.
The Farm is still quite a mystery and we've only learned tidbits about them here and there. I'm not sure if they are connected to the Gargoyle King but either way, they are a group that Betty and the rest of Riverdale need to be cautious of, especially now that they have more people on their side.
Archie: I don’t want to do this. I don’t want to play with you guys.
Veronica: You have to. It’s the only way back.
Archie: Back to what?
Betty: Eldirvare. Riverdale. Innocence.
Kat: The Serpents working for Veronica will obviously cause drama and friction with Hiram and the Gargoyle gang, but it genuinely feels like this was a turning of the tides. It's time for the good guys to win a couple of rounds.
The round may be bumpy, but I do feel like this time, for the first time, the people of Riverdale (led by the Serpents) are going to fight back. The Farm, on the other hand, is something we still haven't really explored yet.
There's so much mystery and unknown to it; I would assume the second half of Riverdale Season 3 will build more dramatic tensions from there, rather than Hiram. You can only use a single antagonist for so long.
Becca: The Serpents working for Veronica will cause more drama. Right now, I don't see the asylum kids having a lot of impact on screen. They'll probably be referenced, and maybe we'll see them as The Farm's minions, but their role will essentially be window dressing.
Jughead kicked Fangs, Cheryl, and Toni out of the Southside Serpents. Was he justified in his decisions or did he overstep the line?
Brandon: I'm not a huge Jughead fan, but what he did was justified. What Fangs did compared to Cheryl and Toni was very different, so he's also justified in keeping Fangs in the gang, having to go undercover in the Gargoyles.
Cheryl and Toni didn't come off as very likable, especially since they ratted out Fangs to Jughead despite him committing crimes to pay for his mom's medical bills. Cheryl and Toni committed their crimes for no real reason other than the fact that they're bored.
Perhaps kicking them out was a bit extreme but it was probably the only way Cheryl and Toni would get the message to stop doing what they're doing.
Kat: I think at the end of the day, everyone was a little wrong in that scenario. Should Jughead have considered Fangs and Toni's blood relation to the Serpents? Not to mention their previous loyalty?
Still, it's admirable to see him wanting to do what's right for Riverdale and for his gang, and he was crystal clear on what was forbidden going forward. Cheryl really is the one that grated me here. The Serpents gave her a home, safety, protection, a life with her girlfriend ... and she just spits on them?
So, Jughead left for a while to protect the life of his best friend, that's completely justifiable. And to not just go against Jughead's wishes, but to do it in such a careless way, almost like she was wanting to get caught?
Without even thinking of the repercussions that could fall on the Serpents as a whole? Plus, not even considering that Toni lived with the Serpents her entire life and Cheryl just got her kicked out is an entirely another thing.
Cheryl needs to get it together and stop being so selfish. It was all for what? Some money? Doesn't she have plenty already? She should have been giving her stolen goods to the rest of the gang!
Becca: From what we know of Serpent Law/Code, it doesn't discuss the governance of a king's powers. We know there are traditions, but tradition doesn't mean it's binding. (For example, Cheryl receiving full membership without going through traditional Serpent initiation.)
Also, there is no mention to what extent (if any) a current king is bound to a predecessor's decisions.
Now, prior episodes have shown Serpents voting on major decisions including whether someone should be in or out. Jughead unilaterally exiling Serpents may have exceeded his authority. However, no one brings up having a vote.
If you don't raise it, you waive it. Whether or not he had the authority prior to exiling Fangs, Cheryl, and Toni is now moot, because since they all wound up accepting his decision, they've now given him the authority.
Veronica and Reggie finally kissed after weeks of light flirtation. Are you shipping this romance?
Brandon: I am shipping this! Reggie, along with Kevin, has been one of the most underrated characters on the show, and pairing him with Veronica will finally give him the attention he deserves. The two have this quality where they manage to be adorable but also super sexy all at the same time.
The only thing I would've liked would've been to see the build-up of these two getting together prolonged more. But perhaps I'm just a sucker for a "will they/won't they?" romance.
Veronica: Daddy made it very clear that if La Bonne Nuit was to continue operating in a post-quarantine Riverdale, I’d have to give him 10% of my earnings for the privilege.
Reggie: If you start paying him for protection now, you’ll never stop.
Veronica: But ... there are ways to minimize that price.
[Pop hands Veronica a ledger]
Veronica: Five percent feels fair. And once Daddy reviews these well-cooked books, he’ll be none the wiser.
[Reggie reads through the book]
Reggie: Has anyone ever told you, you’re a badass?
Kat: I am here for this pairing. I am so, so here for it. First off, I love that we finally have a somewhat slow and steady build to a relationship on Riverdale. Reggie and Veronica have been bonding and becoming closer for nine episodes now, and there was absolutely no rushing this moment.
Over the course of Riverdale Season 3, I fell in love with how dedicated and loyal Reggie is to Ronnie, and how amazing she is in his eyes. Plus, they have incredible chemistry.
The kiss itself was gorgeous, and the look he gave her when he saw her singing? It's like everything just clicked for them. I adored every second of it.
Becca: I'm digging it. I like their chemistry, and I like how their relationship is based on something more than love at first sight. I hope their relationship is treated as a legitimate relationship and not as a detour Veronica takes on her way back to Archie.
The Sisters committed suicide with the same poisonous blue drink. Share your thoughts about this shocking twist.
Brandon: My first thought was poor Betty. Anytime she makes headway in getting a lead on the Gargoyle King or taking down Hiram, something happens that makes her have to start all over again.
The one plus side is that now that the sisters are all dead. The Sisters of Quiet Mercy will be no more forever.
Kat: Was it really that shocking though? Seems like everyone on Riverdale is killing themselves with the blue drink these days.
The Sisters knew they were caught in something they were never going to get out of, and they felt they had no other way out. They were all crazy from the get-go, way back to Riverdale Season 1. Didn't really surprise me in the least.
Becca: Against, it's great imagery. While I appreciate how raising the body count ups the threat, the nuns' deaths are more of a housekeeping matter that clears the table for the next round instead of something that is interesting in its own right.
The park rangers found Archie at the brink of death due to a loss of blood. Is this a pointless red herring or could you see a world where Riverdale does kill off Archie?
Brandon: Riverdale may one day kill off Archie but not like this. A bear attack would be the silliest way to kill the main character off. It was simply a pointless red herring like what they did on Riverdale Season 2 with Jughead.
Archie Andrews will be fine and will reunite with his friends and family in Riverdale by season's end.
Archie: I’m not playing the game with someone who died from it.
Warden Norton: I didn’t die. I ascended to the kingdom.
Archie: Then what about Joaquin? Did he “ascend” too? That was his reward for stabbing me, wasn’t it?
Warden Norton: That was the card Mr. Dos Santos drew. His do or die moment. You know all about those, don’t you, Archie? Didn’t you have one yourself?
Archie: With the Black Hood, yes, and I stopped him. But, I’m still trapped here ... in this hell.
Kat: Do I think they are going to kill off Archie Andrews? Uh, no. Do I think it's a pointless red herring? No, it's not that either.
It's a catalyst. A catalyst for change in the character.
Yes, he's been through the wringer, but dying? Even if you end up coming back to life? That's a whole other monster. Things like that change you, alter who you are at your core.
I think Riverdale's writers have been wanting to make Archie a darker, somewhat more mature character that they could play around with a bit, and this was the way to get there.
The vision quest was weird, but the concept of him dying being used as a catalyst for change works for me. Now his characterization can be more on point with the rest of the show, and hopefully, he'll be more integrated into other storylines going forward.
Becca: Riverdale doesn't have the guts to kill off Archie. If they did, I could very well envision a Riverdale without Archie. The writers may believe Archie is the heart and hero of Riverdale, but how they continue to write him keeps proving the contrary.
I agree with Kat that Archie's near-death experience is meant to be a catalyst. In monomyth terms, this is Archie's "belly of the whale" moment.
My issue is with how they're executing this stage of the hero's journey. Archie's vision quest has so far shown that he thinks he should kill The Black Hood and Hiram, feels guilty about the harm he caused everyone around him, and is self-loathing.
None of this is an actual revelation. Unless the writers come up with something meaningful for Archie to learn and change from, they will botch Archie's rebirth.
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Justin Carreiro is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.